December Mystery disc wrapped up [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Jim Clark
12-16-2003, 09:58 AM
When is a mystery disc not a mystery disc? When just about everyone but you knew who it was. Actually it did catch a few off guard so I don't feel real bad for being surprised by the music being created today by Marianne Faithful on her 2002 release Kissin' Time. Yes Finch, it's a women.

I guess the reason I felt it may be suitable for a 'mystery disc' stint was simply the surprising evolution of this women which is surely one of the most drastic reincarntions I've ever come across. Starting in the 60's as a folk singer with a very high voice to this dark, tech influenced album that is sung a good octave lower must have been one heck of a journey. Her 1979 Album "Broken English" is well regarded by a few here earning 4 and a half stars at AMG. She started toying with the electronics on Broken English but the shock was obviously the raunchy lyrics.

Marianne first found success around 1964-the year I was born, with As Tears Go By, and in '65 ditched her husband to become Mick Jagger's squeeze. (aside: Does that mean that if she had stayed with him that she'd be Lady Marianne today?) After years and years of living what sounds like a horrifying life of drug abuse she finally got clean in 1987 and I guess has remained drug free ever since. The toll that took is obviously displayed in her voice.

I guess her personal journey aside I really do like the music a great deal. I can also see why others wouldn't enjoy it. Whether or not you really like the disc I think all who requested (and the one's it was forced upon) can appreciate the reinventing process. It's not really all that noticeable at first but there are several huge names collaborating on the album. Beck, Billy Corgan, and several others. Maybe now that you know what to look for you may find something to like that you might have missed. It does help to have the notes on hand sometimes.

finally to wrap things up I'm including a raunchy review I dug up. Given the subject it seemed appropriate enough:

Marianne Faithfull, once the sexiest **** buddy in Swinging London is now a 55-year-old grandmother who has overcome scandal, drugs, The Rolling Stones, a suicide attempt and a breakdown on live TV. Faithfull spent the ensuing two decades in a drug haze, often sleeping on the streets, turning tricks, inspiring Absolutely Fabulous, but she still managed to release some fine albums, notably 1979's "Broken English." She still swears and smokes and has a tattoo.

Faithfull recorded this album (separately) with Beck, Billy Corgan, Blur, and Pulp, as well as her old friend Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. This time she's like an old whore targeting her younger fans.

Faithfull may no longer be the virginal chanteuse who was every male's fantasy, but she still has a certain allure. Faithfull is not nostalgic. One track, "Sliding Through Life On Charm," is based on her memoirs. The song was written by Pulp vocalist Jarvis Cocker, but Faithfull gave herself a credit since she was the subject and came up with the title.

"Song For Nico" seems less inspired. Nico doesn't need any more attention. Collaborations with Beck and Corgan seem inspired and yield both gospel and love songs.

The opening track "Sex With Strangers" sounds like a track left off Midnight Vultures. She is sort of like George W. Bush: a person born in good circumstances who surrounds herself with more talented people, and takes credit for everything.

This is a step up from albums like Tom Jones "Reload" album where he duets with many of the Met Bar locals of today's music like Stereophonics. Actually Lulu has just done the same thing with her own karaoke album and it has become her biggest album in thirty years.

Faithful at least forces these layabouts of Britpop fame to do some work. She does cover one Beck song and one song by Herman Hermits. But most of this record is new material and seems inspired and you wonder why Pulp would give her songs, when their own new album could have used songs like these.

Alexander Laurence

If that's not enough AMG has a very lengthy write up on this particular album. Or if you prefer, you can just be done!


12-16-2003, 11:08 AM
I would have never, EVER, EVER have figured this for a chick. I did think that it would be a small man (or a very young one). Although I knew it wasn't them, Davy Jones and Jon Anderson did cross my mind. But Marianne Faithful. Wow. I would have never guessed it.

After reading your wrap-up, I really need to go back for another spin. This puts the music in a whole new perspective. Wacky!

12-16-2003, 01:36 PM
When is a mystery disc not a mystery disc? When just about everyone but you knew who it was.
Hehehe, she does have a very distinctive voice. I got the Vagabond Ways CD a few years ago and never got into it that much, even though I still like to pull out Broken English now and then. Guess her new persona doesn't have as much appeal to me. Still has pretty much the same voice, but I kinda agree with FA, after a few cuts this one starts to get on my nerves just a bit. I do appreciate being able to give it sample, though. Thanks

Finch Platte
12-16-2003, 07:08 PM
Yup- I'll have to listen to it again, too. Wow- who woulda thunk.

How (or why) did you get your hands on it? Did you see it somewhere for cheap and decide to get it on a whim? How many did you send out?

Talking about stumping the band.


Jim Clark
12-17-2003, 06:30 AM
How (or why) did you get your hands on it? Did you see it somewhere for cheap and decide to get it on a whim? How many did you send out?

Talking about stumping the band.


Well I stumbled across the disc at the library. As for the why it was mainly because the album Broken English has been discussed in a very favorable light here (actually it was on the old board). I had no idea what to expect when I checked it out and was amazed at the type of music I heard. It wasn't what I was expecting at all and in doing some reading about her, beginning with the AMG write ups which are very lengthy, I was intrigued. In the meantime I have picked up Broken English and have to agree that it is a very good album although I like Kissin' Time better. As I listened to Broken English I had to keep checking the release date. Surely they meant 1997 and not 1979. Well a couple of tracks may seem a bit dated but it's remarkably fresh.

I sent out very few since I had only a limited response asking to be included. I forced the disc on a couple of others who I thought may be interested in the disc based only on their comments on Broken English. Receipients included:
Forced on:

You were correct earlier when you said there wasn't too much written with regard to the disc. I will say that I'm not really surprised and there are many reasons for this. I know it's a very busy time of year for everyone. Mainly though I really didn't expect many to really love the music but I thought it would be interesting to more than a few once revealed and on that front judging from the email I've received and the few comments on the board, I was correct.


12-17-2003, 01:04 PM
I intended to post about this a few days ago, but just never got the time to finish... here's what I'd started writing about it:

My first reaction is that it's a mod UK trip/hop electro-pop type artist (like Moby?). Then after a few minutes I'm thinking the vocals might be Marianne Faithfull... I know we had a discussion about her last year, but I'm not even sure she's still recording (or alive... LOL). I make that wild guess mainly on the vocal, as I'm not plugged into the style of music on the CD too much.

I'd give that guess a 50% chance to be correct, but after the lyrics further in about Nico et al (I'm pretty sure she is dead), I'd raise the MF guess up to 90%. It's not that bad a CD, although I probably wouldn't get it myself. There is one very good cut though, a more traditional singer/songwriter type melody, nicely done. (and another hint that perhaps my guess is OK).

I purposely hadn't read any of the earlier threads on this subject, but did read this one today. If others also knew who it was, it's understandable because of the unique voice. I do have Broken English, although she sounds quite different there from her earlier vocals when she was a cute pixie-eyed chick. BTW, her "Sister Morphine" 45 is a classic (35 yrs old). A top-10 all-time anti-drug song. It's as haunting a song as another young British artist of that same year, Nick Drake, who wouldn't get (really) noticed till decades later.

Your background info on the other artists involved in making the album makes sense now, as the style is certainly a more modern tech-music. It's one reason I was doubtful at first to associate her voice with that music.

One nice cut that I'll be revisiting again in the future... that's a lot better than many of the discs I actually paid $ for this year... LOL.

Thanks Jim.